Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Climate Crisis: The Rising Tide

If you thought climate change/global warming was still an abstract idea, think again (via The Independent):
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

[...]

The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures.

Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's 400 tigers are also in danger.

[...]

Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas.

Too bleak? Here's something to lighten the mood (perhaps) from our pal Ward (as featured in the Village Voice):

Sutton Impact @ Village Voice

Now that the 2006 mid-term elections are over, my aim for my posts here at Cracks in 2007 is to return to focusing more on the looming climate crisis and share with you not just the doom and gloom stories (of which there will continue to be many), but also stories and analysis of positive action that we can use to learn about ways we can reduce our carbon exhaust (both individually and societally). We'll still continue to beat the drum for getting us out of Iraq and highlighting BushCo LLC hypocrisy, and Old Fogey will continue focusing on poverty and equality, but I just thought I'd warn you about my shifting gears.

And speaking of shifting gears, despite these stated goals for Cracks, I honestly don't know what will happen to the blog in 2007. As mentioned previously, Mrs. F and I are expecting a delivery from the stork in mid-March. I'm hoping that I'll still have time to troll news stories and share them here, but there's the distinct possibility that I may give up this hobby of mine to devote time to our little guy. But until then, full steam ahead (well... maybe full steam next week... still on holidaze time this week).

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